If you have a pet roaming around the house while you’re away, a good camera can give you the ability to check in on your furry friend. While most pet cameras are designed for cats or dogs, there are a few features that make certain models great for cat owners specifically. The
best pet cameras for cats have high-quality lenses, sturdy bases your cat can’t knock over, and a few have handy features like built-in laser beams or the ability to dispense treats to keep your cat entertained.
Since cats tend to perch and maneuver on top of your furniture (knocking things on a shelf over in the process), having a camera that won’t move around is a big plus. When searching for a camera, look for options that have nonslip grips, wide bases, or opt for one that’s heavy to the tune of at least a few pounds,
especially if you have a cat that loves knocking things over. Alternatively, you can invest in one that’s easy to tuck away so your pet can’t get around it.
Beyond stability, you’ll also want to keep your individual cat in mind. Some cat cameras have added features like a chute that can release treats or a laser beam that will keep them entertained. If you have an active cat or will be away for long periods of times, these can be especially great features to have. Beyond that, consider if you want a model that has night vision to capture overnight activity, and consider a model with two-way audio so you can hear and be heard by your cat.
Also, a word to the wise: With any camera you invest in, be sure to take a look at which features are available to you without an ongoing monthly subscription. I’ve laid out which cameras require subscriptions for which features, below.
Not sure what you want? Here's a roundup of some of
the best cat cameras out there to choose from. 1 The Best Treat-Dispensing Camera Subscription? No subscription is required to use this camera.
HD pet camera has a wide-angle lens that lets you easily see your cat and is designed with fun, interactive features. It features two-way audio that allows you to communicate back and forth, and weighs 3 pounds, so it’s solid and won’t easily fall over if your cat bumps into it. It’s also designed with night vision that picks up on motion in the dark, and has a built-in treat dispenser. You can remotely dispense treats to your cat whenever you want, and when they get close, snap a picture of them and even upload it to social. This cat camera is also Alexa-compatible, and connects through your home’s Wi-Fi to the app so you can livestream footage to wherever you are. One note: While other cameras on this list automatically store video data for you to review later, this one doesn’t store video footage, although you can record live videos through the app. According to one reviewer: "I watch my cats on my lunch or when we are out. We are young and have pretty active lives with friends, work, weekend trips, etc so it is nice to be able to see that my cats are doing good. One of my cats loves it and runs in when he hears the whistle for treats.” 2 The Best With A Laser Pointer Subscription? There is no subscription necessary to use this camera, though you can choose to upgrade to their $5.99/month or $14.99/month subscription to access more data storage.
For play time even while you're away, this
laser pointer camera is super small and over 2 pounds in weight, so you can safely place it on any surface without your cat knocking it over. It features a wide-angle, high-definition camera that has night vision so you’ll get a clear view of any room you place it in. It also offers high-quality two-way audio, so you can listen in when you’re away. You can download the app to remotely control the laser pointer from anywhere so that you can keep your cat entertained. While not required, you can also upgrade your subscription to get access to even more video storage (the basic free plan gives you four hours worth of video storage). This cat camera even has a built-in Alexa assistant, which can be turned off if you prefer not to use it. According to one reviewer: "My wife always used to ask me to take pictures/videos of our cat when she's not at home, so this was a perfect fit for us. I love it that we both have the app and can each look at and play with our cat when at work or traveling. I also love the "motion detection" which basically records a video when there's any movement at home and sends you a notification, so I get tons of fun videos that I share with my family." 3 A Great Middle-Tier Option Subscription? While you won’t need a subscription to use this camera, a few features including the two-way audio and data storage are only accessible if you upgrade to the $10/month subscription.
For my own cats, I have this
motion-activated camera and honestly, I can't say enough good things about it. The high-definition video quality is top notch, and it senses ambient lighting in the room to automatically switch to night mode as needed. The app functionally is great, too — you can set it to alert you whenever the motion sensor detects your cats walking into view, and you can watch them live from wherever you are in the world via the associated app. It also has two-way audio so you can talk to your cats throughout the day. While this camera isn’t as heavy as others on this list (it’s just under 1 pound), it is super slim and easy to tuck away so the cats can't paw at it. I'm not the only one who loves this camera — it has thousands of fans on Amazon.
One important thing to note: Some of the features require you to pay for a monthly subscription that costs $10 per month, including data storage, the two-way audio, and overseas viewing of the camera’s footage.
According to one reviewer: "Perfect for keeping an eye on the dog and cat throughout the day. Also like the alerts when they're up and about and by the door.” 4 A Cat Camera With Motion & Noise Sensors Subscription? No subscription is required to use this camera, though you can upgrade to the $5/month, $7/month, or $19/month subscription to access longer data storage accessible via the cloud.
It lacks the nonslip base or heavyweight design of some of the other models on this list (it’s about 1 pound in weight), but
this camera has one big feature that makes it stand out and worth your money. In addition to a motion sensor, this sound-detecting camera has a noise sensor, so it’ll pick up on any activity happening in your home. Its vertical design makes it easy to tuck away and houses a spherical camera that can rotate a full 360 degrees so you can watch your cat at any angle. It also features high-quality video imaging and has a built-in SD slot for you to add a micro SD card to in order to store data. It also has two-way audio and night vision capabilities, so you can see anything in a 20-foot view of the camera, even when the room is dark. Also unlike other models on this list, a subscription is not necessary to access the bulk of the features (though one is available that enables you to access your storage via the cloud as opposed to through your SD card). According to one reviewer: "Set up my Nooie Indoor 360 Camera to check in on my [pet] while I am at work. LOVE watching and checking in on him through out the day. I'm so thrilled to be able to not only see him but talk to him too throughout the day." 5 The Most Affordable Subscription? No subscription is required to use this camera.
budget-friendly camera also weighs around 1 pound, but has a wide base that will keep it stable on the ground if your cat tries to knock it over. To set it up, all you have to do is scan the included QR code with your phone. It automatically downloads the app for you and once your camera is hooked up to Wi-Fi, you're all set to go. It features a high-definition camera with a crisp view of your home. It also offers a night mode, two-way audio, and a built-in motion sensor, all for a super affordable price. It lacks some of the more high-tech features like treat dispensers or lasers, but for less than $50, it’s a steal. According to one reviewer: "I bought this to put in my living room to watch my cats. I’ve made sound on this, from work to my cats. That when I did, one of my cats climbed up on my tv cabinet & his shadow was in my camera. This camera is easy to install, & worth the investment.”